Emission Regulation Welcome, But Should be Wise: INTERCARGO

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

March 6, 2018

Photo: International Association of Dry Cargo Shipowners (INTERCARGO)

Photo: International Association of Dry Cargo Shipowners (INTERCARGO)

 On the implementation of the 0.5% sulphur cap for ships’ bunkers from 2020, International Association of Dry Cargo Shipowners (INTERCARGO) is promoting the consideration of transitional issues such as the availability and safety aspects of compliant fuels, and incidents of non-availability of low sulphur bunkers at certain ports. 

INTERCARGO encourages the effective implementation of the “2020 Sulphur Cap” regulation yet with a pragmatic approach. A reasonable and measured enforcement of the Regulation during an initial transitional period would thus be welcome instead. 
INTERCARGOraises its concerns about the practical - technical and operational - challenges faced by shipowners in achieving compliance from 01 Jan 2020, given the bunkers’ supply landscape and widespread uncertainty. 
The availability of compliant fuels and their safe consumption are especially of concern. A drastic step-change is expected in 2020 and if a smooth transition is not ensured, the impact will be great. There will be an impact on trade, on economic growth and on the societies of both developed and developing countries worldwide.
INTERCARGO will also participate in the development of the GHG emissions reduction strategy at IMO in April in collaboration with its industry partners aiming at setting ambitious yet also pragmatic objectives. 
INTERCARGO welcomed the entry into force of the BWM Convention and aspires to its effective implementation. But early on, our Association had made public the critical challenges faced by the bulk carrier segment of the industry at least. 
INTERCARGO had invited regulatory provisions, in view of the nonavailability in practice of ballast water systems appropriate for bulkers with gravity top side tanks. One of the many issues currently being faced by owners and operators is that there are type approved systems currently fitted onboard vessels that do not fulfil their purpose, i.e. the D-2 standard. 
Instead, evidence was recently presented at IMO that Ballast Water exchange is often more effective in achieving the D-2 Standard. 
Practical problems remain in retrofitting existing dry bulk ships with BWM systems and operating them.
Implementation challenges also include adequate worldwide support for these systems, the availability of proven systems, which can perform under all conditions, and spares backup. 
Achieving the effective implementation of the BWM Convention will require working closely with the manufacturers. INTERCARGO remains committed to investigating the related problems. 
The regulation in place should respect the highly capital intensive nature of the industry and avoid distorting the market’s level playing field by marginalising viable and quality bulk carriers. 
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